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  • Total strokes gained at the PGA

    McIlroy's driving and iron play help him claim fourth major victory

  • Rory McIlroy picked up 1.4 shots on both approaches and drives at the PGA. (David Cannon/Getty Images) Rory McIlroy picked up 1.4 shots on both approaches and drives at the PGA. (David Cannon/Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy captured his second major of the year and his third tournament in a row with his win at the PGA Championship. 

McIlroy led in strokes gained from the long game (shots starting outside of 100 yards from the hole), gaining nearly three strokes per round on the field. That represented 70 percent of his total gain of 4.1 strokes per round against the field. He was second in strokes gained-driving and fifth in stokes gained from approach shots, with each contributing a gain of 1.4 strokes per round. (About the only reason McIlroy wasn't first in strokes gained-driving was his tee shot on the fourth hole in the third round that led to a penalty stroke.)

On the front nine of the final round, McIlroy's 36 strokes lost 1.7 strokes compared to the field average of 34.3.  He closed out the tournament with a 32 on the back nine, gaining 4.1 strokes against the field average of 36.1. On the back nine, McIlroy's putting gained zero strokes on the field, so all of the gain came from his off-green shots.

Several of McIlroy's shots on the back nine were strokes gained standouts. From the fairway on the par-5 10th hole, McIlroy gained 1.2 strokes with his 280-yard second shot, which left him a 7-footer for eagle.  McIlroy said the "eagle to get back to one behind with eight holes to play was massive." On the par-4 13th hole, McIlroy gained 0.8 strokes with his shot from 91 yards that left him a 2-footer for birdie.

On the par-4 17th hole, McIlroy's birdie gained 1.2 strokes on the field, with the gain split nearly equally between his 150-yard shot from the sand to 10 feet and his holed putt. McIlroy said, "My fairway bunker play has not been great over the past couple of years.  But I was able to produce a great shot at the right time. To hole that putt on 17 was huge and just to give me that little bit of a cushion going up the last made the tee shot slightly easier on 18."

Two other strokes gained standout shots were his 210-yard tee shot on the 11th to 13 feet (gain 0.5 strokes) and his 176-yard approach on the 12th to 8 feet (gain 0.6 strokes), but he didn't convert either birdie putt.

Here's how McIlroy's play in the PGA Championship compares to his play throughout the season:

 

Strokes gained per round (ranks in parentheses)

 

Total

Drive

Appr

Short

Putt

Rory McIlroy during win

4.1 (1)

1.4 (2)

1.4 (5)

0.2 (44)

1.1 (12)

Rory McIlroy during season

2.9 (1)

1.5 (1)

0.7 (11)

0.2 (60)

0.5 (19)

Difference

1.3

0.0

0.7

0.0

0.6


Here's a strokes gained breakdown of the top 12 finishers at the PGA Championship:

 

Strokes gained per round (ranks in parentheses)

Golfer

Total

Drive

Appr

Short

Putt

Rory McIlroy

4.1 (1)

1.4 (2)

1.4 (5)

0.2 (44)

1.1 (12)

Phil Mickelson

3.9 (2)

0.4 (25)

0.8 (18)

0.9 (10)

1.7 (5)

Rickie Fowler

3.6 (T3)

0.9 (11)

0.9 (17)

0.8 (15)

1.1 (13)

Henrik Stenson

3.6 (T3)

0.6 (21)

0.8 (22)

0.0 (51)

2.3 (1)

Jim Furyk

3.1 (T5)

0.2 (34)

0.7 (25)

1.4 (3)

0.9 (17)

Ryan Palmer

3.1 (T5)

0.5 (22)

0.1 (53)

1.9 (1)

0.6 (29)

Steve Stricker

2.9 (T7)

-0.8 (73)

1.6 (4)

-0.1 (53)

2.2 (2)

Ernie Els

2.9 (T7)

0.7 (17)

0.4 (40)

0.8 (12)

1.0 (16)

Hunter Mahan

2.9 (T7)

0.7 (19)

0.9 (16)

0.5 (23)

0.8 (21)

Mikko Ilonen

2.9 (T7)

0.1 (43)

-0.1 (58)

1.1 (7)

1.8 (4)

Jimmy Walker

2.9 (T7)

-0.6 (68)

1.8 (2)

0.9 (11)

0.9 (18)

Victor Dubuisson

2.9 (T7)

1.5 (1)

0.3 (43)

1.7 (2)

-0.6 (61)

Top 12 average

3.2

0.5

0.8

0.8

1.1

Fraction of total

100%

14%

25%

26%

35%

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